Crown Melbourne Championships - Part 4

Posted at 07:00 2006-05-03 Back to MELBOURNE POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS - PART 3
Joe Hachem (3rd) - Eric Assadourian (1st) - Aleks Lackovic (2nd) Melbourne Champs Main Event

After ten events, numerous satellites and a magazine launch we were finally ready for the Main Event – the $750 NL HE with $150,000 guaranteed prizepool. A huge field of 395 players jacked the prizepool up to just under $270,000 and with some huge names in the field – the biggest being current World Series champ Joe Hachem, it was shaping up to be an exciting event for competitors and spectators alike. The start bank was 5000 with 30 minute blinds and the tourney would commence 10 handed, moving to 8 when down to the last 100. As expected, things were slow moving to begin with but picked up quickly – when the blinds hit 400/800, there were only 150 left in the field. With the average stack at 13K, Emad Tahtouh (79K) and Arul Thillai (35K) were looking healthy, while Joe Hachem was just keeping his head above water with 16K. Emad lost half his stack to Linda Currie, who in turn lost half of hers courtesy of a busted flush draw and a lost race with AK vs 44. Emad, down to 17K at one point, doubled up and never looked back, regaining the chip lead with 100K while the field dwindled to 72 players. Winding down to the top 40 and the cash, Emad was joined in the lead by Teams PL event winner Scott Smith as Leo Boxell (60th), Angie Italiano (52nd), JJ Liu (50th) and John Vincent (46th) all missed the money. Once we had our top 40, play loosened up and there were people out all over the place as short stacks tried to double up for a shot at more cash. Lee Nelson was one of the profitable ones – facing a tournament end all in with K2 vs AJ, the board came J-10-9-8-K, a miracle on the river doubling up Lee. Emad departed in 26th and Ian Schoots (runner up in the High Stakes event) was sent packing in 20th by Joe Hachem. Ian pushed preflop for 50K with A4 and Joe made an insta-call with pocket Kings. The flop came 7-8-4, giving Ian some hope, another 4 on the turn had Hachem shaking his head in disbelief, but the final twist was a king on the river for Joe, sending the crowd wild. Lee Nelson was finally out in 18th after a massive survival effort while shortstacked, and Eric Assadourian joined Joe Hachem at the top of the chip counts with 140K. Ricky Gov (13th) was unlucky to miss the final table, crippled after he reraised Luke Tsapazis all in with kings, Luke making the call with AJ and spiking an ace on the turn. Luke was later knocked out by Joe Hachem on the final table bubble in ninth, and we were down to our final eight players who would battle for the $80K first prize. After knocking out Luke, Hachem went to the final table chip leader with 470,000, followed by Western Australia’s Aleks Lackovic (428,000), Eric Assadourian (335,000), Kerrigan Fellows (196,000), Scott Smith (181,000), Leigh Warne (169,000), George Lucas (156,000) and short stack Con Cotsomitis (44,000). Con was first out, once again by the hand of Joe Hachem. The money went all in on a flop of T-T-Q, Con had KQ for top two and Joe J9 for the up and down, a king on the turn sending Con home. With blinds 10,000/20,000 (3000 ante) Aleks raised UTG to 70K, Leigh pushed all in for 132K and Aleks reluctantly called – his worst fears confirmed when he found his KdJd up against Leigh’s aces. The board came 7c-2c-3c-4c-8c and it was a split pot with neither player holding a club and a very unlucky Leigh missing a chance to double up. Next hand Leigh raised it up to 60K and everyone folded – Leigh showing kings and unlucky not to win bigger pots with his two monster hands. Leigh finally got some action to go his way when short stack George Lucas pushed all in on the button for 83K and Leigh reraised all in with pockets tens, forcing Scott in the BB to fold. George couldn’t find a king and was eliminated in 7th. Leigh’s fortunes were down again when with blinds at 12,000/24,000 (4000 ante), Aleks raised to 60K from the hijack and Leigh reraised to 220K, Aleks made the call and leaving himself with 90K. The rest of Aleks’ chips went in on a flop of Tc-5s-8d, his K8 called immediately by Leigh with pocket jacks. The turn blanked but the river was a devastating King, and Leigh had been foiled yet again. It didn’t end there, shortly afterwards Leigh had Kerrigan Fellows dominated with AJ vs A3, a 3 on the flop and Kerrigan doubled up to over 200K. Leigh’s bad run had no end in sight, and he was the sixth place finisher after going all in to call Eric’s 280K button raise from the BB. Eric had Jd8d and Leigh was ahead with A9os but a Jack on the flop ended Leigh’s tournament. A disappointing end for Leigh after playing a fantastic final table. Scott Smith was out in fifth, Kerrigan in fourth, and the last three standing were Eric, Joe and Aleks. A fascinating battle was shaping up between Joe and Eric, Eric bluffing Joe out of a 400K pot with Q-high, and in a later hand he came over the top of Joe’s 210K preflop raise, Joe having to fold. After Joe doubled up to 750K through Aleks with A9 versus K4, the battle was clearly between Eric and Joe for the title. After numerous hands folded to the preflop raiser, with blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 ante), Joe and Eric took each other on and saw a flop of Q-4-6 (2 diamonds). Eric pushed all in with KQ for top pair and Joe made the call with 8d5d chasing a flush and gutshot straight draw. Joe had 12 outs and it was a veritable race but Joe couldn’t hit the turn or river and Eric took down the 1.7 million dollar pot. With a huge chip lead – 1.7 million to about 275,000 – Eric, holding 6c9c, put Aleks all in with Ah2h and the board came 3-T-8-J-7 to give Eric the straight, the title of Main Event winner and the first prize of $80,580. Ever aggressive, and unafraid of putting his chips on the line, Eric was a more deserving winner and takes the title home to Sydney. For those that couldn’t make it to the Melbourne Championships, Crown has released a webcast of the final table, which you can view through the Crown Poker website. After ten days of non-stop poker, the exciting launch of Bluff Australasia Magazine, and the crowning of Eric Assadourian as champion for the Main Event, the Melbourne Texas Holdem Poker Championships drew to a close. Once again, Crown is to be commended for their professionalism and it is with great anticipation that we look forward to the Victorian Championships in August. RESULTS - Event # 12 No Limit Holdem Main Event Guaranteed $150,000 Prize Pool COVERAGE ARCHIVE PNW over and out.

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